Meet our new research assistants
We have two new research assistants joining our team this year. Hanna Fylkesnes has a master from the Department of Psychosocial Science and Hans Martin Lundgaard Corneliussen from the Department of Comparative Politics.
They both graduated in 2021 and started their new positions at DIGSSCORE in January 2022.
Fylkesnes did her thesis on the effect of intergroup friendships in adolescence on adult immigration attitudes using data from the Norwegian Citizen Panel.
The formative years are considered important for the development of attitudes before attitudes crystalise as adolescents enter adulthood. By linking this idea to the contact hypothesis, the purpose of this study is to examine whether adults’ immigration attitudes can be traced back to having friends with an immigrant background in the formative years. To explore this relation, a cross-sectional retrospective study has been conducted with survey data from the Norwegian Citizen Panel in 2019/2020 (N=867). A hierarchical multiple regression analysis was used to test the hypothesis. The results showed that participants who had friends with an immigration background in their formative years had more positive immigration attitudes as adults than those who had not. The effect of intergroup friendships in adolescence on adult immigration attitudes remained significant and positive also when intergroup contact in adolescence and intergroup friendships in adulthood were controlled for. Because the findings demonstrated a relationship, a further investigation of relationships in four different age cohorts (1950-1959, 1960-1969, 1970-1979, 1980-1989) was conducted. A significant relationship emerged only in the youngest cohort. The findings show an association over a time span of 17-26 years (1995-2004 to 2020). This indicates that intergroup friendship can be important for the development of attitudes and that the effect is traceable many years later. Similar relations are revealed in the other age cohorts, but the findings were not significant. Distinctiveness of the context in the formative years of the cohorts and methodological aspects are discussed as possible reasons for the non-significant relations.
Corneliussen did his thesis on Chinese foreign aid allocation to Africa between 2000 and 2014 using AidData.
This thesis investigates Chinese foreign aid allocation to Africa between 2000 and 2014. China is an emerging donor of foreign aid and has become an alternative source of assistance for African recipient countries. Considering the characteristics and history of Chinese activity in the region, this thesis focus on answering whether Chinese foreign aid allocation is guided by self-interest. Through conventional perspectives on foreign aid, the aim is to scrutinize Chinese aid allocation through traditionally expected donor motivations: Recipient need, recipient merit, and donor country self-interest. China seems to have an interest in cultivating recipient countries with oil endowments, and there are reasons to expect China select oil rich recipients with weak institutional capacity that are easier to influence. Using data on Chinese foreign aid flows from Dreher et al. (2017) , the thesis employs a two-step regression analysis to uncover whether Chinese foreign aid allocation is guided by self-interest. In addition, the same regression models will be tested on foreign flows of the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) and the United States to compare the results of Chinese foreign aid. This empirical analysis finds that Chinese aid allocation is partly guided by self-interest with a positive association to several proxies of recipient country oil abundance. Recipient merit through Taiwan recognition is also decisive for receiving Chinese aid, but not for how much in monetary amounts allocated. No association between Chinese foreign aid and oil producing recipient’s institutional quality is found. However, this thesis does find an association between a decrease in US foreign aid and oil producing recipients having strong institutional quality.